What to do when there’s too much to do (3 quick tips)

| 28 June 2024

When there’s too much to do, most of us keep going. But that’s often the worst thing we can do. 

Here’s why.

But first, a story.

I’ve recently started to work with a wonderful senior team.

They’ve described things as ‘hectic’, ‘manic’, ‘crazy busy.’

Does that sound familiar?

They’re excited about our work together but understandably anxious that it will add more to their ‘to-do’ list and increase the pressure.

It won’t.

My role is to help them find ways to alleviate the pressure. We all know you can’t see the wood when you’re in the trees, and we want to see more wood.

I’ve started them off with a Team 360, which gives us a snapshot of the team’s activities but, more importantly, describes how they function when they’re together. For example, how do they address counterproductive behaviour and proactively address problems together? Once the results are in, we co-create the development plan together, and we’ll be addressing hectic, manic, and crazy head-on.

I don’t know how that will play out yet, but if you’re hectic, manic, or crazy busy today, these three tips will help.

Space to think doesn’t happen by chance.  If you don’t block that time out, you’ll forever try to fit it in – and fail.   Block that space out for twelve months and be very public about it.  You’ll be calmer and more effective than those people on the back foot sitting in back-to-back meetings all day. (Yeh, you can feel smug, too ☺️ ) 

Kill long email trails—Ask people to copy you in only if they need your decision. You don’t need all that noise. And make sure your email subject headings clearly state what you want the reader to do. (Don’t lose it in paragraph four and then wonder why nobody’s responding.)

Introduce Productivity Pods. You and your team block out, say, two hours a week to work on something important—possibly the thing that’s been on the to-do list forever. You can work on the same thing together, or each person can work on something different. You sign in at the beginning, say what you will be working on, and get on with it—no distractions. You’ll be amazed at how much you achieve. My Lead with Confidence group loves our Productivity Pods. Simple, powerful, satisfying.

Get started with those three tips this week and let’s stop accepting hectic, manic, and crazy busy as the only way to work.

To your success always.

P.S. If growing your leadership presence is on your radar, you’ll love the Claim your Confidence week I’m running from 9-16 July.